Quick question, does your organization use TM1 Web or PAW? (Planning Analytics Workspace – the newest interface for Planning Analytics)

After the early days of bug fixes and updates, many of our clients switched to PAW to eliminate wasted effort in managing and maintaining TM1-Web reports, to increase user engagement and to create additional value for their finance teams & business as a whole.

I have put together an overview of PAW below. These are many of the reasons why we suggest PAW to our clients that are still using TM1-Web, and why we think PAW is the optimal interface to truly unlock the power behind IBM Planning Analytics.

Regardless of if you are using TM1-Web and are looking to transition or if you have PAW and want to know if you are maximizing its capabilities, I hope this provides actionable value to you and your organization. Feedback is always welcome!

What is PAW? 

Planning Analytics Workspace, or PAW as it is known, is the newest interface for TM1/Planning Analytics.

It is a view-based application allowing you to analyze data, plan and create new content all within the workspace.

PAW is a major advancement for TM1 as it is essentially a “one-stop-shop” for all TM1 development. It also enables smart features such as Natural Language Processing so you are able to simply ask a question to the system and the embedded AI (based on Watson) will provide insight, rather than looking for answers in multiple reports/views.

If you are anything like me you love TM1 and its capabilities and believe if everyone saw the benefits it would be a critical application used across the whole organization for all planning processes, or effectively what we call Integrated Business Planning.

With PAW, the true potential of Planning Analytics can be unleashed, it has the potential to maximize user adoption and drive organizational change.

Let’s take a look at TM1 Web vs PAW:  What is so special about PAW? 

First off, TM1-Web is more limited in capability than PAW, for example, in PAW there is no need to manage multiple websheets & copy and paste data from one report to another in potentially messy hierarchies that can confuse users.

With PAW data can be viewed and managed placing data from cubes and various views on a single page. This eliminates wasted effort and enables a higher degree of analysis as users are focused on a pre-defined “web-app” instead of a more technical list of websheets.. (Which from our experience, unless you’ve had a really talented consultant that understand the business requirements, hierarchies can get quite messy!)

Here are some of our favorite benefits of PAW: 

“Control Centre” for TM1:

  • IBM has made major improvements to the user experience of TM1 but also to how you manage cubes, hierarchies, reports, and formulas or rules. Instead of many different places and having to work directly on the server, you are now able to manage most aspects of TM1 right within the PAW interface:
          • Data & Models
          • Applications & Plans
          • Reports & Analysis
          • Administration
          • Cognos Analytics

Enhanced User Experience for Analysis:

  • PAW eliminates the frustration users have from managing multiple websheets and tabs in TM1-Web. It introduces intuitive workflows and allows users to view multiple dashboards in one centralized location improving the user experience and sentiment towards Planning Analytics.
  • The ability to leverage Alternate Hierarchies based on different dimensions and attributes, provides more capability for analysis.
  • Inclusion of Dashboards is creating a dynamic way to run through forecast update meetings and month-end reviews.

Reduction in Maintenance

  • PAW relieves the manual burden of managing custom websheets maintenance, allowing users to leverage multiple cube views and spend more time on value add analysis.

Why would we want to use this instead of TM1 Web? 

  • TM1-Web ins’t being developed at the same capacity and investment as PAW as it is a legacy product.
  • Too much time, money spent on managing and maintaining customized websheets inTM1-Web, with PAW users can spend more time analyzing data & providing strategic insights to the organization
  • TM1-Web User experience is outdated and navigating through multiple tabs is seen as cumbersome, this causes low organizational adoption & poor sentiment towards Planning Analytics
  • Users spent more time exporting to excel or copying data into TM1-Web. This time is a cost the organization does not get back & can lead to significant opportunity cost. 

Since we can’t dive into everything, few more features we are excited to share and we think you should be aware of: 


      • Rich interactive workspace
      • Natural language discovery & manipulation
      • Collaboration & Pin to share and reuse
      • Online chat
      • Organize into multi-tabbed workbooks
      • Synchronize objects from any data source
      • Roll up, drill down, slice & dice
      • Add calculations as a user without the ability to break
      • Add user instructions in pop-up text boxes and cell commentary

I hope this has provided a glimpse into why PAW is our recommendation when it comes to TM1/Planning Analytics. We know it isn’t necessarily possible to answer all questions specific to each use case within an email, if you have any questions or would like any more information book a quick discussion with me and I can point you in the right direction!

Written By Mitch Weir

Mitch is a Strategic Advisor at ActionKPI. On a day-to-day basis he helps our team and our client’s drive more profitable activities in their business, freeing finance from the shackles of Excel Hell and helping them navigate the complex integrated business planning journey with a proven robust framework. He aims to help others avoid these challenges, so if you’re always asking “Is there a better way, and can it be easier?” Please send him any questions you have.